perspective

Save One

I love animals.  My daughters and I used to volunteer with Kittico Cat Rescue to help cats find homes.  At any given time it seems there’s a surplus of animals and not enough homes to go around.  It makes me sad.

My dad was a big animal lover.  I guess I get my love of animals from him.  I brought home cats and there was the occasional dog that would follow me home growing up.  He didn’t turn them away, though he probably should have.  He wound up feeding a lot of stray cats in the neighborhood.  It was an expensive chore, but I loved him for it.

pic by Cherry

pic by Cherry

Back in May I stopped and picked up a puppy that was trotting along on a busy street in our neighborhood.  I couldn’t let it go, he was so pretty and by himself.  I didn’t want to see him get ran over.  So, I picked up the little guy and brought him home.  He is a husky – great Pyrenees mix.  He looked tired and hungry.

We named him Scout though I have often thought I should have named him Forrest because he reminds me of Forrest Gump.  He is a big baby that thrives on gentle love.  He hates to get in trouble and doesn’t respond well to harsh discipline.

He has sky blue eyes, but his left eye is brown on top and blue on the bottom.  Scout howls now and then and even says a few mumbled words.    He has grown into quiet a character and a wonderful addition to our family.  I am glad no one ever claimed him.

Through the years I have loved on many pets and only actually paid for one dog for my daughter.  Other than that they have been the cast offs and strays that I have found along the way.  Cats, dogs, one bird, and once a few hamsters.  Animals are simple creatures to figure out.  They need love, food, water and protection.

Here is a picture of Scout now at approximately a year old.  IMG_2143[1]He’s a great big boy at 85 pounds.

I used to have the same philosophy with people.  I thought people were generally good at heart, circumstances and events happen that sometimes change them over time.  I thought it was my role to help and save them.   People and animals must want to be saved in order to be helped.  You cannot force an animal to trust you.  If they have been hurt or abused, trust will take time and patience and there’s the real possibility that you will never be fully trusted and will be permanently kept at a distance though tolerated.

People are the same way, if they have had bad life experiences, others that have betrayed their trust, hurt or abused them, then trust is proven and grown over time with the real possibility that you may never get as close as you wish.

The important thing to remember is we each have opportunities that are specific to us and our environment.  You can think about someone you know and tell yourself that “someone” should help them, but they are in your reach – you may be the someone who needs to act.

Take the time to appreciate the people and animals in your life.  Take a moment to notice those around you that need you, reach out, you may be the person that can save one more life today.  Every human touch of kindness counts no matter how small.

Cherry Coley

Spring Forward

clock    It’s time to move the clock forward again.  We watch the sunrise many times on the way to work in the morning now.  Bright hues of orange  and yellow streak the sky as the sun comes up and signals the start of another day.

I love this time of year.  Even though I like winter with the cold and snow blanketing things in white and adding an icy coat to the trees and streets, I love it when spring comes bringing sunshine and warmth to wake up the sleeping trees and plants.

I look forward to Spring this year.  It’s a time for renewal, a new beginning.  A perfect time to start writing again.

I welcome this new phase in life.  This year is proving to be more challenging in some ways and more fulfilling in others.  Each year we live is filled with different experiences and opportunities waiting to be taken advantage of if we have the courage to step forward and the willingness to try.  I am thankful there are new things to learn.

So tonight, don’t forget to set the clock forward.  Take advantage of the longer daylight hours to come.  Time is a precious resource, once it’s spent you cannot replace it or relive it.  Spend your time wisely.

Cherry Coley

Set Your Targets Closer and Set Your Sights High!

cherrys iphone 247Have you ever set your heart on a career or goal and then lost your focus?  Distractions and life events you didn’t have control over cropped up as obstacles and you had to put off what you were working on, or maybe you just put it aside hoping someday you might get back to your dream.  I have.  I remember dreaming of doing things, working hard to set goals and lists, then becoming discouraged because there were too many other things I was responsible for at the time and it seemed my dreams would always get shoved aside.

Here are some things you can do to stay motivated and keep making progress towards your dreams.

  • *        Focus on the outcome instead of the activities.

It’s easy to fill up a “to do” list with a lot of activities that seem necessary and valuable when we write them down, but are they?  If you aren’t careful what seemed like a good idea and vitally important can get confused with “busy work” and before you know it you’ll find yourself with a big to do list that you aren’t getting done, a feeling of despair because you aren’t making the progress you thought you would, and sometimes thoughts of giving up because you become discouraged, or feel overwhelmed with the distractions and events.

When you focus on the outcome instead of the activities – put up reminders of where you want to be.  Don’t do a big to do list, instead just focus on what you want for an outcome.  You will surprise yourself finding ways to fit in the things that must be done to get you to your goal.  What’s more is you may come to realize things you thought were important are just busy work and aren’t necessary to get you where you want to go.

Resources you didn’t see before will come into focus because you aren’t worried about the “to do list” – you’re looking for your end result.  When you keep your focus on the outcome it sets your brain and eyes in motion to look for opportunities that you might’ve otherwise missed.

  •     Set your targets closer

Another way to stay motivated is to set your targets closer.  When you want to gain self-confidence it helps to set some easily obtainable goals, once you reach your target – celebrate!!  Every success counts!  Get used to that feeling of celebration when you reach your goal, stop and enjoy it!  Build on your successes and keep the momentum going!  You can do it!

It seems silly to remind to celebrate, but how many times do you reach a goal and think, “okay, that’s done, now what?” and just move on to the next thing?  I was doing this a lot.  Where is the enjoyment? Where’s the lasting sense of accomplishment?  Well, gee, I just bypassed it and went on to the next thing.  It’s important to celebrate the little successes, it will make the big successes that much more sweet! Life is a joy to live and we need to celebrate when we reach a milestone or goal.

  •     Surround yourself with people who will hold you accountable and encourage you.

Notice I didn’t say – surround yourself with people who will beat you up and try to whip you into getting things done.  This may work for some, and I confess now and then I kick myself into gear, but put me with someone who’s going to belittle or make me feel bad for not reaching a goal on time and it has the opposite effect on me.  Eventually I may even start avoiding that person.  Who wants to talk to someone whose intent on judging you?  I’d rather find someone who will listen to my concerns and offer some encouragement and helpful suggestions.

Just keep that ant philosophy.  Ants don’t get distracted or let obstacles get in their way.  They just keep on going, up, down, around, under and through whatever gets in their way to reach their goal.  When they need help they send for reinforcements and get the job done.

Cherry Coley ©

Get a New Perspective

animals.nationalgeographic.com

animals.nationalgeographic.com

Life is challenging at times.  If we aren’t careful we can find ourselves feeling cornered, over whelmed, tired, and stressed.  Things happen, unexpected events, circumstances change in moments.

Life is merciless and can come at a rapid pace that leaves us breathless and feeling helpless.  The thing to remember at such times is, this too shall pass.  It’s a cliché, but it’s still true.  Moments both good and bad only last for moments.

Sometimes all it takes to change a situation is to change your perspective.  My art teacher taught me long ago, when getting frustrated while working on a portrait a long time, sometimes you get too close to the subject and the picture can start to look off.  The best thing to do is put the picture up awhile, go do something else, then come back to it later.  When you take it out later, turn it upside down and you will immediately see any flaws in the portrait.

There are a lot of things that work the same way.  When you work on something a long while, your stress level and emotional involvement can skew your perspective.  It’s important to work with a partner, or have trusted friends who will tell you when something is off, or perhaps help you take a break and see things differently.

Finances, for instance, can weigh heavily on the mind, cause lack of sleep, stomach aches, and stress that affects the body and mind.  Still, we have the option to ask for help, seek guidance, and the ability to look up possible solutions literally at our fingertips.

Jim Rohn said, “Everything you need is already available to you.”  I had to think about that awhile, because I tell you, it didn’t feel like everything I needed was available earlier this year.  Yet, after reading books, studying classes, searching for resources and taking advantage of just part of the things I have access too and have available to me, I realize Jim Rohn is right.

Don’t allow yourself to feel cornered or down.  You have a choice, you are in control of your attitude and the emotions you choose to use at any given moment.  If what you’re doing each day doesn’t leave you feeling fulfilled, or like your accomplishing something, happy, or content, then take a look at what’s going on in your life and how you’re responding.  Perhaps you need a break, a change in perspective.

Cherry Coley ©

Wednesday Thoughtfulness

photo by Casey Keal

photo by Casey Keal

“Learn the wisdom of compromise,  for it’s better to bend a little than to break.” – Jane Wells

 

As children get older and go on their way to self discovery, parents sometimes get nervous and worried about the paths they are choosing to go down.  We hope and trust that we have taught them right and that they will hold true to the principles and knowledge they’ve gained while growing up.

Yet, there is a time when each person asks the question, “who am I and why am I here?” “What’s my purpose?”  “What am I going to do with my life?”

Some figure out the answers to these questions early on and hold true to their dreams, growing and learning, constantly reaching for their goals and owning their destiny.

Others of us go through different stages of growth and self discovery, a journey that lasts a lifetime, filled with ups and downs, leaps of faith, grand mistakes and endless opportunities. 

No matter the background, whether born into a life of plenty, or growing up with a struggling single parent, we each own our own destiny.  It is our response to life, to the challenges that we face and the choices that we are given that make us who we become.  Our perspective, our ability to remain open and humble enough to admit when we are wrong so we can learn new ways to do things can make all the difference.

I’ve been a parent now for over 19 years, and I am learning as I go.  I am not perfect and don’t profess to be, and neither are my children.  Yet God put us together on this journey for a reason.  Together we will face the future, learning from each other, facing obstacles in our path and offering hope and encouragement when needed. 

Take a moment today to be thankful for the people in your life, whether friends, family or co-workers, we each have a purpose for being in the life of the other. 

Cherry Coley (c)

 

Keep On Running

 

start

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.” – Walter Elliott

In a day and age where we choose to rush around getting so many things done every day, it’s good to stop and remember that perseverance means that you keep on going, despite hardship, despite distractions and obstacles, we keep moving forward one step at a time.

Some days, like today, it is a great help to remember that all it takes is that one step right after the other. 

-Cherry Coley (c)

 

Quote 03/07/13

 

Photo by Casey Keal

Photo by Casey Keal

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength,

while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu

Just Listen..and Appreciate

Cherry Camera 022

“When you really listen to another person from their point of view, and reflect back to them that understanding, it’s like giving them emotional oxygen.” – Stephen Covey

Begin With the End In Mind

startHave you ever struggled trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B?  One good way to figure out how to set priorities and goals is to visualize where you want to go, see yourself there, then start thinking of what you can do to get to the place you want to be. 

What about life?  Don’t you hate it when your employer asks you that dreaded question, “where do you see yourself in 5 years?”  How about looking even further into the future? Where do you see yourself in 20 years? What about when you retire?

If you really want to have something serious to think about, what would you want people to say about you in your eulogy? If you can visualize your friends, family, co-workers and the people at your church or the charity you work with getting up to share a few words about your life.  What sort of things would they say?  What do you want them to say?

It makes you stop and think doesn’t it?  It did me.  It’s made me realize where I’ve fallen short, the mistakes I’ve made and all the work I still need to do.  It’s made me realize I need to invest a lot more time in the people I care about and appreciate. 

Life is short, time is precious and there’s no time like the present to get started.  Start with the end in mind and put your heart and soul into where you want to be, the influence you’d like to have and the legacy you’d like to leave. You will leave a legacy, the great thing is you have a choice what that legacy will be. 

Cherry Coley (c)

 

The Biggest Mistake

l_5877c808254742e986ad6762af59ea91I look back on my life and realize I’ve made some major mistakes along the way.  We try to avoid mistakes when we can.  No one likes making mistakes, whether they are big or small one’s mistakes have consequences and no one likes the fall out.

The way we respond to our mistakes says a lot about our character and how we approach our lives.  Successful people learn that making mistakes is not a bad thing.  Mistakes can teach us what to do and what not to do.

Mistakes are choices we’ve made that haven’t worked out the way we thought they would.  However, the benefit of making mistakes is knowing we are taking an active part in life, we are trying, we are making choices and even though some may wind up being mistakes, if we learn from them then there is still a benefit.

Benjamin Franklin said, “The man who does things makes many mistakes, but he never makes the biggest mistake of all – doing nothing.”

I thought about that statement today, the biggest mistake being to do nothing.  How true a statement is that? There have been times in my life when I was afraid to move forward, to take a chance for fear of making a mistake.  There have been opportunities that I missed because I took too long to think things through and choose to move forward. 

To live, to really live, is to make the choice to participate, to meet new people, try new things, experience life.  To experience life means to make mistakes.  It’s okay, there may be consequences, but you can learn from the experience.  Just don’t make the biggest mistake by choosing to do nothing, the consequences for that one is called “regret” and regret is a hard thing to live with.

Cherry Coley (c)